Why BLM is Missing the Mark on Non-Violence

The rise of the militant movement known as “Black Lives Matters” is an important one because it is so different from the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, and today is a good day to look at that movement in light of the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who I hold in utmost respect and honor.  We should all aspire to have the heart of kindness and courage that Dr. King had.  First, it is important to note here that Time Magazine, in a story titled “Black Lives Matter is Not a Civil Rights Movement” written in December 2015, claims that Black Lives Matter is a Human Rights Movement.  The basis of the argument is that they are fighting for, “the full recognition of our rights as citizens; and it is a battle for full civil, social, political, legal, economic and cultural rights as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights“; yet, in their continuing explanation of the movement, they limit the scope to “…a struggle for the human rights and dignity of black (emphasis added) people in the U.S., which is tied to black (emphasis added) peoples’ struggle for human rights across the globe.  I would debate, however, that given the behavior of the BLM movement and the hatred which they seem so willing to heap upon those that they dislike, their movement does not include all of humanity; it includes only those they choose to include because, after all, white, heterosexual people are humans too.

I heard an interview with a young, black person a few months back and what bothered me so much is the disregard for what achievements Dr. King made in our country.  It is unrealistic and unfair not to acknowledge the progress that has been made in humanity since the 1960s.  Sure, it isn’t enough, but it is something to build upon and I fully believe that Dr. King would see it in this way.  Those who were closest to him should be willing to acknowledge this progress, but it seems that it has proven more profitable for them to disregard it and, perhaps, undo some of that progress in order to keep their “business” of anti-racism going.

Additionally, this young man flippantly disregarded the significant benefits of a non-violent approach used by Dr. King.  When I was in graduate school at the American University in Washington, D.C., I made it a point to  study peace and non-violence.  At the time, as a scholar of the USSR I wanted to know if there was anything about this which could benefit our relationship with the former Soviet Union (they had just fallen at the time I was in school).  I am a believer in non-proliferation of nuclear weapons because of the horrific consequences of using those weapons and because of where we find ourselves today…non-state agents of hate (terrorists) with access to these weapons with support of nuclear nations.

The young man claimed that all of the non-violent action of the Civil Rights Era were a waste; that it had really not accomplished anything because look where we are.  Not a very good argument.  He was alluding to the violence from Ferguson, Baltimore, etc.  I would argue with him that those are not acceptable references because these black men were not shot because of some limitation or oversight of the Civil Rights Era.  These men were shot because they were committing crimes.  Dr. King never said that committing crime was okay because they’re just white folks and they deserve it anyway.  What he said was, “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”  Protesters of this movement have not protested an illegal law; they couldn’t.  The men who were killed were guilty of the crimes…murder, attempted murder, robbery, etc that were not unjust.  As well, in a few of these violent instances, too, the rioters were paid to riot, which also disqualifies this from inclusion.  The fact of the matter is, this young man and BLM doesn’t know if non-violence would work because they haven’t tried it and, I suspect, they know little to nothing about how to accomplish it.

The reason non-violence works is because it attracts supporters, even those who would seem to be outside the mainstream group and those supporters tend to be more loyal.  Gandhi realized this when he led his group to make salt from saltwater in protest against the British monopoly on salt manufacture.  At the time, there was only a small portion of the Indian population who were opposed to British rule, so Ghandi had to do something which would highlight the issue and bring in many more supporters of his cause, Indian Independence.

“He (Gandhi) announced the campaign with an open letter to Lord Irwin, the Viceroy, in which he politely but assertively requested acquiescence to his reasonable demands for making salt, and described the civil disobedience that would follow otherwise. Polite dialogue with the opponent was a key part of Gandhi’s method. He considered the opponent to be a partner in his quest for ‘truth.’ At a pragmatic level, this approach put Irwin in an awkward situation. If he acquiesced to Gandhi’s demands, he would appear weak and open the way for further demands. But if he came down on Gandhi too heavily, he would appear to be unreasonable and unjust and thus increase the level of opposition (Dalton, 1993).” (http://www.belfercenter.org/publication/why-civil-resistance-works-strategic-logic-nonviolent-conflict)

Gandhi’s belief was that however violent the opposition, he would have to that much more non-violent.What this allows for is an interpretation of the opposition, by the public as cruel.  It changes the people’s perceptions of the victimizer, in this case the British government.  The BLM young man could only see non-violence as a bunch of black folks sitting on the ground, but it is so much more than that.  If you think back to Selma, the police and the Alabama government looks so much more horrible because the protestors did nothing.  Everyone, then, who watched at home knew with no question that they had done nothing to provoke the attack.  More often than not, this brings great shame upon the victimizer.  But, when we see people rioting, looting stores, stomping on people in the road and those types of violence, it simply alienates everyone except the participant.

Consider how differently the situation in Ferguson, Missouri would have been if the protestors had just sat down in the road and not allowed anyone in or out of the police station.  The same in Baltimore, if they had just sat down outside the DA’s office and demanded a fair review of the case.  I encourage all the supporters of the BLM to reconsider their position on non-violence; to study it more closely; and to seek out the knowledgeable about peaceful resistance.  I will close with a quote from Henry David Thoreau who said, “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth–certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”

Take time today to talk with your children about the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



The Unlegacy

First published December 27, 2017 in the Toronto Sun After grinding America into the dirt, stabbing Israel in the back (and front), and ceding world influence to Russia, President Barack Obama bragged he would have been a better candidate than Hillary. And his royal highness brayed he could have beaten President-elect Donald J. Trump. Looks…

via Obama’s legacy a nightmare — Conservative Black Chick

Politics of the Well Crafted Lie

If we can all agree on one thing in the United States, I believe it would be that at one point or another every politician lies.  It may be intentional; it may not.  I further believe that this “disease” as it were is not isolated to the modern politician.  We have a habit as humans to remember people in a higher regard, sometimes, than they actually deserve.  For instance, President Thomas Jefferson, for a great number of people, is held in high regard for his writing of the Declaration of Independence and the model for which that set for this nation.  However, many forget that while Jefferson was president he was almost impeached over the Louisiana Purchase because it was an illegal transaction.  For another example, Benjamin Franklin is beloved, but he was a deadbeat father and philanderer.

When I was in my last academic year, I went to Washington, D.C. to do an internship with our local congressman.  At the time, I would describe myself as a Democrat, as was this congressman.  Georgia was still in that time period when most politicians still running as Democrats, but in office they typically voted more along Republican/conservative lines.  I thought that I was sophisticated in my knowledge of politics; but within the next year, I was to learn quite differently.

To put this in perspective, this was the summer of 1989 and much was going on in Washington that summer.  First was the House banking scandal, which I can tell you my congressman was deeply involved in.  As I recall he was in the top 10 of congressman with bounced checks.  I cashed some of those checks!!! Second, was the Senate mailroom scandal in which senators were abusing their franking privilege.  Neither of these broke the news until after I had returned to school to finish my last semester.  However, I will tell you that the first time I was sent to the House bank to cash one of those illicit checks, I did question it.  It was pooh-pooh away as a normal routine.  It was Friday and he needed money to travel home and a check would be deposited on the following Monday was what I was told.  I shook my head and went on to the bank, but thinking about how I would go to jail for doing the same.

I believe that there are few reasons for why politicians lie.  First, though, we need to review two important political concepts which deal with models of representation.  These are important because how a politician views himself often explains his/her behavior.  First is the concept of a delegate.  A delegate is someone who is elected to represent a constituency and is to represent the attitudes, beliefs, desires, needs of that constituency.  For instance, if a district is 90% farms, then a delegate is going to vote for those bills which benefit the farmer.  It would be to his detriment to vote in any other way.  On the other hand, there is the concept of the trustee.  Most of us (voters) understand that there are many issues that we know little or nothing about and that we don’t have time to research adequately enough to make informed decisions and to pass along our opinions to our representation in Washington.  These might be issues like nuclear power, defense weapons systems, or medical research.  In these instances, our representatives look at themselves as trustees rather than delegates because they do have access to research and information in order to make informed decisions as to what would be in our best interest.  The line between where a delegate ends and a trustee begins, however, can be and often is subjective.

One of the foremost reasons I believe politicians will lie is because they believe they are smarter than we are.  This is that blurred line.  Even in the situation where the constituency may be quite able to understand and relate their understanding and belief of an issue (for example, educational issues), often a politician will still believe that he/she knows more, has more data, and is more equipped to make a decision than we are.

Another reason is that they need to cover up a mistake they’ve made and so they craft the lie to make the error meaningless or, in the least, not as significant as it actually is.  For example, Ronald Reagan repeatedly told the American people that arms had not been traded with Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, when he knew that they had.  Most recently, Hillary Clinton crafted her words specifically and strategically always saying that she did nothing wrong regarding her emails, but the issue at hand was not her emails but her private email server.  She also crafted her words to say that “everyone in Washington” knew about her email.  This wasn’t so much a lie as it was putting President Obama on notice because he had received emails containing classified information from her private email server and did nothing which made him complicit.  This was basically her way of saying, “Hey buddy, if I go down, so will you” because they both broke the law.

There is also another reason for a well crafted political lie that you might not think of right away.  We want to be lied to because we don’t want to hear the truth.  Sounds absurd, right?  I think most often this relates to economics.  We always want to hear that the candidate is going to fix what’s wrong, put more money in our pockets, and life will be grand.  Remember, George HW Bush’s, “READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES”?  Those are words no politician should ever say because you just don’t know what is going to happen and why put that out there?  We often expect way more from a politician than is possible, which often puts them in the position to lie.  We will have to see, but President Trump may have dug himself a few holes on this one!

The atmosphere that exists in Washington creates an air of self-deception and promotes manipulation.  When I attended graduate school in Washington at The American University and during the time that I interned, I was amazed at how manipulative, self-centered, and deceptive people were.  In the congressman’s office, it seemed that staffers spent more time on the phones networking around D.C.  looking for their next step up.  The more “prestigious” job; the better paying job.  The same was true in school.  Students weren’t as interested in you as a friend as they were in who you might be “connected” to and how you might be able to help them get ahead.  Whatever it took to make that “ideal” connection was what they were after.  Quite frankly, I am surprised that there isn’t a course in the School of International Service or the Department of Political Science called “The Well Crafted Lie”.

Hannah Arendt wrote a book just after the Pentagon Papers were released in 1971 called, “Lying in Politics”.  I will end with a quote from her.

“Truthfulness has never been counted among the political virtues, and lies have always been regarded as justifiable tools in political dealings. Whoever reflects on these matters can only be surprised by how little attention has been paid, in our tradition of philosophical and political thought, to their significance, on the one hand for the nature of action and, on the other, for the nature of our ability to deny in thought and word whatever happens to be the case. This active, aggressive capability is clearly different from our passive susceptibility to falling prey to error, illusion, the distortions of memory, and to whatever else can be blamed on the failings of our sensual and mental apparatus.” (https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/15/lying-in-politics-hannah-arendt/)

May we seek to be more active in politics and demand better from those we elect!


Politics of Intelligence

There is nothing in this world that is immune from politics.  Political posturing even exists between spouses and siblings.  There are some industries, social organizations, and governmental agencies, however, that should make all attempts to keep politics out of their day-to-day activities as possible.  One example to which I think most would agree is that of the Department of Education.  I believe that most would agree that politicians should stay out of educational decision-making because, as history has proven, politicians are awful at it.  They cause far more problems than they resolve.  It also a matter of keeping political indoctrination (either conservative OR liberal) is not the job of educators, but of parents.  Tailoring curriculums towards one political group versus another is undesirable and, quite frankly, a disservice to our children.

Another example, and an important to which most Americans are unfamiliar, is in the area of Intelligence.  This includes intelligence collected by the CIA as well as the DOD and private contractors.  There are so many groups, public and private, involved in the intelligence business, it would blow the minds of Americans.  While the president, as Commander In Chief, sets the priorities for intelligence collection.  This allows these groups to determine how to prioritize their various intelligence assets.  As a side note, I hear someone say the other day on the news that no other country in the world has the quality intelligence industry as the United States.  I had to laugh.  It was a laughable comment because much of what we know, especially about human intelligence, was learned from the British. Having been a part of the intelligence community, we have had a renown intelligence industry up to this point.  In the past 8 years, under Obama, it has been severely weakened.

In his 2014 budget, President Obama cut 8% from the intelligence agencies’ budgets.  At that time, Director of National Intelligence said such cuts could put out nation at risk.  “The capability we cut out today, you won’t know about that, you won’t notice it,” he said. “The public won’t notice it. You’ll notice it only when we have a failure.” (Newsmax, April 10,2013)  The most damage, in my opinion, is in the drastic reduction of our human intelligence capabilities.  Clapper added in the article that these same types of cuts in the 1990s left the nation weak and unprepared when 9-11 happened.  We are in that same position today.

The other issue with having politics mired into intelligence activities is when intelligence agents and analysts are forced to compromise their activities at the whim of political actors, like that of the Commander In Chief.  You may recall an article from the New York Times on September 15, 2015, wherein they reported that “A group of intelligence analysts have provided investigators with documents they say show that senior military officers manipulated the conclusions of reports on the war against the Islamic State, according to several government officials, as lawmakers from both parties voiced growing anger that they may have received a distorted picture about the military campaign’s progress.”  The only reason that these military officers would have ever done this is because they were ordered to do so because it fit the narrative that the CIC wanted to put out to the American people to keep his legacy in place.  Such manipulation are extremely dangerous, most especially to the troops on the ground, but also the American people at home because it presents a false sense of security which does not in actuality exist.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that I worked directly with Central Command (CENTCOM) when I was a Counterintelligence Agent assigned to the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.  I worked with them on a weekly basis.  Anyone assigned at this level is a top-notch soldier and highly qualified at their job.  I wrote regular analysis reports myself and I can tell you how important it was to me that those reports were the very best quality reports I could put my name on.  Not one analyst is going to sign their name to a report that they believe could be wrong.  It isn’t going to intentionally happen because every one of us knows that, if an error should occur, that could mean death to a soldier or to an intelligence asset.  None of us would ever want that on our conscience.  No one!

A whistleblower at CENTCOM made the report that ” intelligence analysts were being pressured to show a false and more positive view of our fight against ISIS and to downplay the threat of ISIS in military reports” (http://aclj.org/national-security/cooking-the-books-on-isis-the-military-intelligence-controversy).  Congress opened an investigation into the matter and found that the intelligence analysts were bullied into making alterations to their reports.  When they refused, the reports were changed before being submitted up the chain of command.  During interviews, analysts reported that their leadership was “risk-averse and unwilling to accept uncertainty in intelligence analysis—which by its very nature deals in probabilities and contingencies rather than certainties.” (http://aclj.org/national-security/cooking-the-books-on-isis-the-military-intelligence-controversy)

Now knowing that President Obama has severely reduced our intelligence capabilities and he has bullied them into lying about what we know about the status of our enemy’s operations, how can we trust that President Obama is not lying to us about Russian hacking.  Not one time has he offered to the American people evidence of this purported hacking.  We keep hearing that it exists, but it has yet to be presented.  This hacking only became a real issue after Hillary Clinton lost the election.  Prior to that President Obama said in a press conference on October 18, 2016, “there is no evidence that election rigging has ever happened or could happen.” ( http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/18/obama_to_trump_stop_whining_about_a_rigged_election.html)  Apparently now that has all changed and the evil, manacle Russians have managed to do it through hacking, though not of our election systems, but of Hillary Clinton’s illegal private server and her and her campaign manager’s, John Podesta, emails.  This is their claim.

Here’s the thing.  We are treading on some very thin ice where Russia is concerned.  All of this negativity against our adversary is not good.  Sure, we don’t like them, but we have to work with them.  Putin is an extremely dangerous person.  His goal, first and foremost, is to re-establish the USSR, maybe not under that name, but that is his bottom line goal.  If he can gain more territory and more power than his predecessors, then that will be all the better.  He is getting some thrill from seeing us squirm about this hacking business, but he does not take to unjustified threats or actions, like throwing out diplomats and sanctions.  Since every nation on this planet hacks into the computer system of every other nation on this planet, he sees hacking as fair game.  Just part of a daily routine in the intelligence business.  If he’s able to get in, then you’re at fault for not protecting your stuff.  Pretty much the same way we feel about it.  If we keep up this hollering over this hacking issue, which in the greater scheme of things is nothing compared to what they could have exposed (they hacked a PRIVATE/ILLEGAL server of a political candidate not an election system and the DNC a private company, not public), then they might wish to expose something which might be much more damaging to us in retaliation for these sanctions. Intelligence which might actually lead to death.  I don’t think any of us would want that.  We do not need to play politics with our intelligence.

Americans be informed. Be vocal. Vote!

Deanne Rhoades


When means don’t meet the ends

Recently, my totally awesome husband was laid off from his job.  It is the first time in almost 30 years that he is without a job.  We find ourselves readjusting our lives and reconsidering expenditures.  Things are a bit tough right now.  I work in a commission only job, and the past 2 months have been brutally slow for me.  In fact, 2016 in general has not been as I thought it would be.  This got me to thinking about the budget of our country and how PE Trump might go about making changes in order to improve our lives.

I don’t know about most of you, but when money disappears most people cut spending.  Our country has a serious spending problem, as well as a priority problem.  The first thing my husband and I did was to cut off our satellite television service.  Directv was costing us $130 per month for the service and equipment.  In the case of the country, cutting spending is exceptionally difficult because once funds have been budgeted, most agencies have no incentive to cut costs.  The goal is to keep every penny budgeted.  Even when dollars are freed up, most will spend those dollars anyway so that they are not lost in the next budget.  I remember when I was on active duty, the new fiscal year began each October.  In August or September units look at their budget expenditures to see where they might still have money.  Once those funds are found, the unit will go about spending on just about anything to keep from losing that allocation.

What bugs me the most are earmarks.  I was disappointed to hear that Republicans have attempted to bring back earmarks (I wasn’t aware they had ever ended, as Consumers Against Government Waste has still been publishing their “Pig” book which lists the biggest offenders to pork barrel spending.)  A “pork” project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.  These are the types of projects you hear about that include  studies like combating Goth Culture ($273,000 spent since 2002) or the construction of a bridge in Alaska that leads nowhere ($3 million).

How does Congress come up with these expenditures? Most often these projects are promised during election season in order to garner votes.  Congress people are then obligated to get those projects funded and, so, they sneak them into appropriations bills where they virtually go unnoticed, except by CAGW.  Where do we find the most earmarks? CAGW’s website shows the following chart:


As most know, the US is almost $20 trillion in debt, which is over $61,000 per person.  Consider these statistics regarding poverty, homelessness and hunger in the U.S. as provided by Feeding America for 2015:

    • 43.1 million people (13.5 percent) were in poverty.24.4 million (12.4 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
    • 14.5 million (19.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
    • 4.2 million (8.8 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
    • 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
    • 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.
    • 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.
    • Households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 17 percent compared to 11 percent.
    • Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).

According to National Alliance to end Homelessness, “In January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless on a given night in the United States. Of that number, 206,286 were people in families, and. 358,422 were individuals. About 15 percent of the homeless population – 83,170 – are considered “chronically homeless” individuals.”

With these statistics in mind, we should all know that the sole purpose of a government is to protect the rights of individuals and to provide security–protection of persons and property.  The government, then, would not be doing its duty by allowing extreme poverty, homelessness and hunger to exist on a continuing basis.  For the majority of our citizens, we have no problem allowing our tax dollars to be spent on providing services for these people and/or families.  However, it is the government’s responsibility to work towards a solution to eradicate the problem altogether. Government can do this by stimulating growth in private business and through providing opportunities for job training so that people can go back to work.  Cutting taxes on corporations also helps.  Corporations in and of themselves do not pay taxes; they add the cost of taxes to the cost to produce their product, which increases what consumers pay.  In other words, the consumer pays the taxes, not the corporation.  Therefore, when corporate taxes are lowered, prices go down, consumers spend less on what they buy and have more disposable income to purchase wanted (rather than only necessary) products–things like cars, homes, bigger ticket items.  This increased spending generates more revenue for the corporation which it can then use to expand, thus creating more jobs.  It also increases tax revenue.

For a family who has to cut back due to a job loss, we stop spending on the extras–the things we can do without.  Why should the same not be true of our government?  According to CAGW, “Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,442 earmarks costing taxpayers $323.1 billion.”  Can you imagine how many people could be fed and housed with this money?  In 2005 alone, the U.S. spent $2 trillion on space exploration.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t explore space, I simply contend that we should feed, clothe and house our poor before we spend money on programs such as this.  I would rather the U.S. be known as first a nation with 100% literacy, no hunger, low poverty, and no homelessness than simply the world’s greatest superpower.

Another way to raise money to feed, clothe and house our poor is to look within the government for program duplication.  When President Obama came to office in 2008, he promised to thoroughly review all agency programs and to do away with duplication.  To date, he consolidated approximately or eliminated 136 programs; however, there is more work to be done.  According to a USAToday article in 2014, “the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, identifies 26 new areas where federal government programs are fragmented, duplicative, overlapping or just inefficient. Add that to the 162 areas identified in past reports, and Congress has a road map for saving tens of billions of dollars a year.”  They also note that, “It’s impossible to account for how much money is wasted through duplication, in part because the government doesn’t keep track of which programs each agency is responsible for.”  This fact is disturbing.  Congress has oversight responsibility for this and should make a concerted effort to identify every program operated by each agency, dollars spent on each said program, and to identify what elements of each program may be ineffective, unnecessary, or duplicated by other agencies.

“One of the most troubling things in GAO’s report is the number of agencies that have no idea just how much taxpayer money they are spending on their programs,” said House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. He’s sponsored legislation, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, that would require the government to better track spending data from Congress to an agency to its ultimate recipient. The bill passed the House 388-1 last year and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

I would also include that there are entire agencies that could be, if not should be, completely eliminated.  The Constitution provides that any power not specifically enumerated within is left to the States.  Education should be one of those.  Until the Carter Administration, the responsibility to conducting the education program was left to the state.  There was a small part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare prior to 1979 which supported the state’s programs and conducted research.  In October 1979 President Carter signed into law the Department of Education Organization Act.  It was a highly controversial law which raised the department to a cabinet level position.  Many Republicans considered the law as unconstitutional and as a federal power grab away from the states.  According to the U.S. Department of Education website, in 1980 the total budget of this department was $14 million.  Today, in 2015 the total budget was $87 million! Reversing President Carter’s power grab and returning education back to the states could save millions, thus providing more money to be freed up to feed, clothe and house the U.S’s poor.

Additionally, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 was completely unnecessary.  Created in response to 9-11, President Bush’s thought was to assist in the communication between law enforcement agencies to prevent another such event.  A noble cause, but protection and defense of our nation is the sole responsibility of the Department of Defense.  Rather than creating an entirely separate agency, President Bush could have asked the Secretary of Defense to establish subordinate unit within DOD to handle a program to improve and streamline communication between DOD, CIA, DIA. FBI and state law enforcement, to manage border security, customs and emergency management.  All of which provide protection to the nation.  To this end, the budgetary needs most likely would be considerably less than establishing and managing an entirely new agency.  To date, the budget for DHS is $41.2 billion.

We The People have given the federal government a fiduciary responsibility to ethically and morally handle the funds of the people.  That is an important concept.  The People are required to pay their taxes on time and to properly calculate and determine the right amount of taxes owed.  Our tax system is cumbersome and because of that, most utilize CPAs to assist in those calculations.  According to the IRS, there is over $300 billion in unpaid taxes. Moreover, fraud, waste and abuse of government funds and services continues to plague us.  According to the Washington Times in  March 2015, “The spending issues, ranging from Medicare and Medicaid mismanagement to transportation programs to weapon systems acquisitions, cost taxpayers $125 billion in improper payments in 2014 alone, as highlighted in a new report from the Government Accountability Office.”  Think back to my active duty experience and spending allocated dollars in the last two months of a budget year.

Consider if we simply halved the budgets of these two agencies and combined them to increase our budget for feeding, clothing, and housing our poor.  This would come to $20,643,500,000.00.  If we also included half of last years pork barrel spending, we would add an additional $2.5 billion to our total.  There is no doubt that our government can and should do a better job on spending.  Moreover, if we include just half of the outstanding taxes and total lost to fraud, waste and abuse, our total then rises to $255,643,500.00!  If we take this total and divide it by the number of people living in poverty, we get $6,931.40 per person!  Wow what a difference this would make. This is more than what the average American earns in a month.  But, to make these types of changes and cuts takes courage and strength of character to stick to one’s goals for this nation.  Will PE Trump follow through on his promises?  We will have to wait and see.

Food for thought today!


Dear Mr. Trump, It isn’t about you; It’s about America’

Mr. Trump have read that you no longer wish to pursue actions against Mrs. Clinton because “you do not want to harm her” and you want her to “heal”. I have a problem with this position and I wish to address that with you.

First and foremost, you led us, your supporters, to believe that the crimes that Mrs. Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have committed were reprehensible and that you would make sure that she (it) would be held accountable for them. I believed you to be a man of your word, sir. Am I to believe now that Mrs. Clinton was correct when she called you a liar?  These issues are not about your feelings, sir. These issues are about the integrity of this nation. Are we to stand for nothing? She broke election laws, she broke security laws, just to name a few. The investigations have been put into motion and you promised to keep them going until a resolution is reached. Our children are watching and their opinions of good, bad, right, wrong, fair, and just are being formed. If you stop in the middle of the process, before she has the opportunity to come before a jury of her peers, then their perception of these ideals will be forever marred, and your reputation ruined.

For many of your supporters you  slogan, “Make America Great Again”, meant that we were finally going to see traditional values return to our country, that maybe Christians wouldn’t have to feel like the counter-culture any more, where businesses wouldn’t have to worry about being sued for living and running their businesses according to their religious beliefs; where people can openly sing Christmas carols in the city street without fear of reprisal. But, maybe that isn’t the case if you are already backtracking on issues like this, where morality is such an important factor.

There are many men and women, governmental workers and soldiers, who are doing time for doing less than Mrs. Clinton in regard to failing to safeguard our government’s secrets. How can you look those families in the face and explain to them why their child is incarcerated, but Mrs. Clinton is not? How can you justify to the parents and families of the 9-11 victims and US soldiers that Mrs. Clinton received millions of dollars from state sponsors of terrorism through the Clinton Foundation and she made vital decisions regarding the sale of weapons to the same countries, namely Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We also train some of these countries military members…just so they might turn around and kill us?! How stupid do we have to be? At least we don’t have to have a turncoat in our own government! And when we do, we prosecute to the full extent of the law.

What do you think would happen to Mrs. Clinton if she were Russian? British? French? Do you think they would allow her to slide by Scott free? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Of course, in Russia she’d be lucky to keep her life. Certainly that is no option here. I am simply asking that you allow the investigations to continue, to allow all evidence to be fully discovered, and to allow your Justice Department to review all the evidence gathered in every case and to make a determination based upon the full preponderance of said evidence and then decided whether she should be indicted and face a jury of her peers.  Our country deserves to know the full truth and the Clintons need to be accountable for their actions. This is a critical moment for every American young and old, that no one, no matter how high placed is above the law. Isn’t this the lesson you would want Barron to learn?

Deborah “Liberty” Rhoades @realDonaldTrump

Get Over It & Go Home

When I went to bed Monday night, my stomach was in knots and I was having a panic attack.  I had the television on to Fox News (at first it was on ABC, but I changed it because I couldn’t stand the people they had on reporting and the slant they had on the discussion of the election).  I listened, but most of all I was reading the results at the bottom of the screen as they show the reports of the states and the various elections.  One of my pet peeves is calling an election when only 30% of the precincts have reported.  How crazy is that, right?  When you have 70% outstanding, anything can happen! Nevertheless, these crazy news outlets do it anyway.  I listened and read for about an hour before I determined that what was going to happen was going to happen and my anxiety about it wasn’t going to matter, so I went to sleep.

Much to my surprise when I awoke, Trump was announced as the winner.  I was completely taken aback because I just knew that Hillary was going to win, especially going to win the electoral college.  I had no idea that it would be Trump who would win the electoral college and Hillary who would win the popular vote.  Pundits agreed.  Pundits surmised that there must have been those who feared retaliation for their support of Trump who had kept quiet through the campaign process who came forward for Trump in the voting process. This is quite interesting.  These people were in fear of the Democrat Party and their tendency toward retaliation and violence.  Seeing what is happening now, I can understand why.

I am so ashamed of the behavior I see happening now.  Hillary Clinton and everyone in the Democrat Party should be ashamed of it.  The fact that they are not and that they have not come forward and asked these kids to go home and to stop their protest and violence is very disturbing.  This is the behavior you get when you raise children never allowing them to fail and never teaching them how cope with failure.  When you give little Johnny and little Susie an award for everything they do good AND bad, then they never know whether they’ve done something right or wrong, good or bad.  This is not real life.

And in school, so many teachers now are giving away grades that students don’t deserve because they want their reports to look good and they want their student evaluations to be good.  This sets students up for failure when they go to college and find out that they aren’t as smart as they thought they were.  My son graduated from high school almost two years ago.  In his graduating class there were 632 students.  In that class over 420 were honor students.  Yep, you read that correctly…420 honor graduates.  He was right behind them with an 89.5 GPA.  Now consider this, this high school has not made its AYP in several years BUT it has this many honor graduates?  Something is amiss.  You would think someone from the state superintendent’s office would come looking to see about how this happens.

The real point is that the time to protest is over.  The election is over and a president was elected fairly under the law.  You  may not like the law, but it is the law.  Your protest is not going to result in any outcome.  President-Elect Trump has not even taken office yet and people are accusing him of doing things he cannot even do yet.  Mrs. Clinton did nothing to lead by example in this situation.  She has behaved like a child.  Any person with decency and class would have come forward and asked that the protesters stop and go home, and to accept the outcome of the election.  She would have asked that they treat this president with respect and to support him as they would have her to make this country one that projects dignity and respect around the world.  Instead, she has a temper tantrum like a 2 year old and sends her “daddy” out to cover for her.  Still after two weeks, there is no word from her to the protesters with any kind of direction to accept the election and to go home.  Without these words, she is in essence approving their behavior and supporting it.

Here are the facts: Donald J Trump won the election legally.  He won the electoral college.  The Founding Fathers established the electoral college because they feared a president being chosen merely on popularity rather than on qualification.  He has not taken the office yet, so he cannot act in any presidential fashion at this time.  He is putting together his transition team and selecting his cabinet.  Hillary Clinton lost the election.  She lost the election because of herself, not because of the media, or the FBI, or Congress (Trey Gowdy), or anyone else she wants to blame.  Hillary and only Hillary is to blame for her loss.  She needs to get over it and move on.  I hope that President Trump with shut down the Clinton Foundation and put an end to that operation. Otherwise, I suspect Bill and Hillary will continue to operate that illegal operation until someone in law enforcement makes them stop.  She has much time on her hands now.  She can either use this time for good, or she can use it for bad.  This will remain to be seen.  Good luck to us all!